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Gjetost: That weird brown cheese from Norway is mad good

A few months ago I went to Norway and had the most amazing culinary experience ever. I was able to visit goat farms, cheese factories and markets that all told their own unique stories about cheese — Jarlsberg cheese, to be exact.

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There are a few different Jarlsberg cheese varieties, such as the original (very similar to Swiss cheese in flavor and appearance, so for all the Swiss cheese lovers out there, you’re welcome), Jarlsberg Lite, Jarlsberg Special Reserve and Jarlsberg Smoked. And then there’s my favorite — Gjetost, also known as brown cheese.

Falling in love with Gjetost was the most eye-opening part of my Norway experience. Before my trip to Norway, I had never heard of it before or seen it in the market. But there it was in front of me, that brown-colored cheese that tasted like caramel goodness. That’s right — it’s a sweet cheese.

Not only is the taste interesting, but the way it is made is also super cool. One of the main ingredients in brown cheese is whey, which is the liquid that is leftover from the milk when it is curdled and strained to make cheese. Jarlsberg cheesemakers cook that whey with cream and milk to bring out the caramelized sugars that give brown cheese its mild, fudgy sweetness.

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Brown cheese is great on crackers, wrapped around apples as a snack, and it also works really well with chocolate. While in Norway, I ran across a little chocolate confectioner that makes chocolate with brown cheese. That little gem inspired me to make brown cheese brownies. Trust me — try this recipe once, and you’ll never go back to ordinary brownies again.

For more Jarlsberg cheese recipes, you can visit its site at

Gjetost (brown cheese) brownie recipe

Serves 4 – 6

Prep time: 6 minutes | Cook time: 30 minutes | Total time: 36 minutes


  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 sticks butter, melted
  • 1 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 8 ounces brown cheese, shredded (plus more for garnish)


  1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. To a bowl, add the eggs, white sugar and brown sugar. Beat on medium with a hand mixer until the eggs are fluffy and the sugars are incorporated.
  3. Add the butter, cocoa powder, vanilla and flour. Beat on medium until all the ingredients are well incorporated.
  4. To a greased baking pan, add half the batter.
  5. Layer the 8 ounces of cheese evenly on top.
  6. Add the rest of the batter to the pan.
  7. Bake for 20 – 30 minutes, until the brownies are cooked through. Insert a toothpick into the brownie, and if it comes out clean, then the brownies are done.
  8. Garnish with more brown cheese.

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gjetost brownies
Image: MB Photography/Getty / Design by Tiffany Egbert/SheKnows

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